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May 23, 2001

Alcoa Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., And United Parcel Service Named Winners Of The Only Presidential Award For Corporate Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C.--May 23, 2001-- Alcoa Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., and United Parcel Service were today named winners of the only Presidential Award to recognize companies for corporate leadership and citizenship through outstanding achievements in employee and community relations.

Fully funded by the private sector, the award is named in honor of the late United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. The award is sponsored and managed by The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit research and business membership organization.

The White House and United States Department of Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans recognized the three winners today at ceremonies at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (summaries of winning programs are displayed below). Previous winners include Anheuser-Busch, BankBoston, Cascade Engineering, Seafirst/Bank of America, IBM, Levi Strauss, General Mills, GTE, Hewlett-Packard Company, and U S West.

“I am honored to present the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership,” Commerce Secretary Evans said. “The companies here today do more than just run a business or make a profit – they change the direction of people’s lives by improving their neighborhoods, communities, and environment.”

“This Award is the highest honor a company can receive for excellence in corporate leadership and citizenship,” said Curtis H. Barnette, Chairman Emeritus, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and Chairman of the Ron Brown Award Board of Directors. “Alcoa Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., and UPS have proven that companies strengthen themselves by supporting communities across America and improving the lives of employees.”

Richard E. Cavanagh, President and CEO of The Conference Board added, "The Conference Board is pleased to be the administrator of an award program with such high-caliber applicants. Selecting just three corporate programs from the many quality entrants received this year was a true challenge for our distinguished panel of judges. I congratulate Alcoa Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., and UPS for creating powerful programs that work."

The Conference Board encourages companies who have outstanding corporate citizenship programs to submit applications for future consideration.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board creates and disseminates knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society. As a global, independent, public-purpose membership organization, The Conference Board conducts research, brings executives together to learn from one another, convenes conferences, publishes information and analyses, makes forecasts, and assesses trends. As a not-for-profit organization, The Conference Board holds 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

Judges include:

» Curtis H. Barnette, Chairman Emeritus, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and Chairman of the Ron Brown Award Board
» Melissa A. Berman, President and CEO, The Philanthropic Collaborative
» Alma Arrington Brown, Senior Vice President, Chevy Chase Bank Corp.
» James Houghton, Retired Chairman of the Board, Corning Incorporated
» Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University School of Business
» Dana G. Mead, Retired Chairman, Tenneco, Inc.
» Paul Newman, Chairman and Founder, Newman’s Own
» Pat Noonan, Chairman, The Conservation Fund
» John W. Snow, Chairman, President and CEO, CSX Corporation
» Franklin Thomas, Retired President, The Ford Foundation
» Dennis Weatherstone, Retired Chairman, J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc.

Directors of the Award:

» Curtis H. Barnette, Chairman Emeritus, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and Chairman of the Ron Brown Award Board
» Susan V. Berresford, President, The Ford Foundation
» Lawrence A. Bossidy, Retired Chairman, Honeywell International, Inc.
» Alma Arrington Brown (ex officio), Senior Vice President, Chevy Chase Bank Corp.
» John H. Bryan, Chairman, Sara Lee Corporation
» Kenneth I. Chenault, President and CEO, American Express Company
» Vance D. Coffman, Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
» George M. C. Fisher, Retired Chairman, Eastman Kodak Company
» Robert D. Haas, Chairman, Levi Strauss & Co.
» Fred P. Keller, Chairman and CEO, Cascade Engineering
» Dana G. Mead, Retired Chairman, Tenneco, Inc.
» Lewis E. Platt, Retired Chairman, Hewlett-Packard Company
» A. Barry Rand, Special Advisor, Cendant Corporation.
» John W. Snow, Chairman, President and CEO, CSX Corporation
» Edgar S. Woolard Jr., Retired Chairman, E.I. duPont de Nemours & Company

David Wallace,
(202) 326-1805

Frank Tortorici
The Conference Board
(212) 339-0231


Alcoa Safety - A Way of Life
Contact: Alcoa Inc., Joyce Saltzman, 412-553-4467

Alcoa, the world's largest producer of aluminum, is being recognized for its Alcoa Safety - A Way of Life program. Safety is a basic tenet of the company and extends beyond the workplace. Alcoa's safety initiative encompasses the health and safety of employees and contractors at work, employee and retiree families at home, and citizens in Alcoa communities throughout the world.

Driving toward its goal of an injury-free workplace, Alcoa has improved its safety performance ten-fold in just over a decade. The company’s lost work day (LWD) accident rate was dramatically reduced from an already low rate per 200,000 hours worked of 1.86 in 1987, to 0.15 as of May 2001. As a comparison, the U.S. manufacturing LWD rate in 1999 was 2.2. Throughout the company, the fundamental principle of working safely in a manner that promotes the health and well-being of the individual is a core value.

Through a global program, Alcoa provides important safety programs to enhance the quality of life and well being of employees and their families. In 1999 alone, more than 200 programs were offered throughout Alcoa’s Pittsburgh headquarters region in topics ranging from Safety on the Road to Community CPR Training to a Safe Babysitter Certification Program.

Alcoa's commitment to safety is also reflected through community programs directed by Alcoa Foundation. In 1999, the foundation made grants of over $17.9 million in dozens of global communities that host Alcoa plants. Unlike many foundation-giving programs, Alcoa Foundation provides small grants for purchasing essential equipment to make communities safer, including funding for emergency and rescue equipment, safety and emergency training, and disaster relief.

Alcoa's comprehensive safety program covers a wide cross-section of communities, families and individuals and serves as a benchmark for other companies and communities.

Merck Institute for Science Education
Contact: Merck & Co., Inc., Sharyn Bearse, 908-423-7966

Merck & Co., Inc. is being recognized for its long-term commitment to science education through the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE). Its programs are designed to strengthen teachers’ knowledge of science and education, provide access to exemplary curriculum materials, and support policies at the local, state and national levels that promote science education.

On the local level, MISE has helped raise the levels of participation and performance in science for pre-K through eighth grade students in partner schools. At state and federal levels, MISE advocates for policies that align curricula, assessment, professional development of teachers and administrators, school management and allocation of resources with its vision for science education.

MISE, established in 1993, began by developing partnerships with four public school districts: Linden, Rahway, and Readington Township in New Jersey, and North Penn in Pennsylvania. These sites were chosen because Merck has major facilities in or near these communities. The partnership currently involves more than 1200 teachers in 34 schools.

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education, an external evaluator, reports that MISE has created an effective professional development program for teachers and has influenced state and national policies in science education. Data show that students who receive science instruction over several years from teachers who have participated in MISE-sponsored professional development outperform students who have been taught by non-participants.

MISE serves as a model for other companies interested in developing their own science education partnerships across the nation, thereby providing greater numbers of students with a rigorous science education and, ultimately, improving science literacy, and broadening the pool of high-caliber scientists.

Welfare to Work
Contact: United Parcel Service, Paula Fulford, 404-828-4242

United Parcel Service (UPS), the world’s largest package-delivery company, is being recognized for its Welfare to Work programs in its facilities across the U.S.

UPS was one of the five founding companies in the 1997 launch of the Welfare to Work Partnership. Since the partnership’s inception, more than 12,000 businesses have joined the organization.

Using a localized approach, UPS has developed relationships with major organizations across the country to address recruitment, training and transportation issues for program participants. In two years, the company moved more than 20,000 welfare recipients to well-paying jobs with full health care benefits. As of December 2000, UPS had hired 35,000 former welfare recipients.

By moving people from welfare rolls to payrolls, UPS enables these new employees to gain a sense of self-sufficiency and motivation needed to increase their economic status. They are also able to achieve a higher standard of living for themselves and their families. UPS has programs that help new employees remain in the workforce - providing English as a Second Language classes and literacy programs.

UPS continues to expand its Welfare to Work program through partnerships with various government, social service, community and non-profit organizations nationwide. UPS also actively encourages other companies to become involved in this initiative. The company lends its talent to others interested in replicating the program. UPS’s efforts have been recognized by both government and community leaders and in the press.